2010 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lennysiegel@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2010 21:30:56 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] ENCROACHMENT: Robins Air Force Base (GA) neighbor's opinion
YOUR SAY: Who's encroaching on whom?

Macon Telegraph (GA)
July 16, 2010

The recent headline "Bibb, Houston form pact to buy land encroaching on Robins Air Force Base" (July 7) highlights how misunderstood is the term “encroachment.” The headline sounds silly because it is. Land does not encroach — we all know it's reasonably stationary. It is growing entities, whose purposes come into conflict with the purposes of other nearby entities, that are said to encroach. In the case of Robins, we have a burgeoning Air Force mission on an installation with almost no room to grow (witness G-RAMP), versus a small and diminishing number of homes north of the runway, most of which have been there for 20 years or more. I ask you: Who's encroaching on whom?

Interestingly, the term encroachment is primarily a description of the criminal act of infringing on the property rights of others, and the term was not found in the first Air Force AICUZ studies that identified the land-use conflict. The tone of those studies was much more congenial, much less hostile, than the current dialogue. "Encroachment" was applied later, in the 1990s. But it appears the Department of Defense, Air Force and local leaders, in assigning encroachment to south Bibb County rather than allowing the idea that Robins is encroaching, that is, growing beyond its available land, are effectively putting the shoe on the wrong foot.


For the entire column, see


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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